It's all in the pause

Pause - השהיהPlanning is a separate activity from doing. Put a spacer in there.

Working with clients on project management, as I do, I see a familiar theme come up over and over again.  People have a difficult time separating the creation of an idea from starting to work on that idea.

Why does this matter?  It's the classic vicious cycle for projects: Get an idea. Start doing something about it. Realize you are missing some pieces. Go retrieve the missing elements. Start going again. Get stuck again. Start again. Stop. Start. Stop. Start.  

And of course, while you are "stuck," you don't just sit there. You pick up one of those other great ideas and start marching along until it gets stuck. And again. And again.

Before too long, you have ten projects running and none of them are making progress. This applies whether we are talking about personal projects or projects that require coordination amongst many people and organizations.

Try things another way. Step back and put together a plan of attack. Do you know what success looks like for this project? What is the overall sequence of work? (I like to work backwards from the goal of the project.) What might cause the project to get stuck (and can you do anything to prevent that)? Do you have the people, money, resources available to do this?

Once you've thought through elements like this, pause.  Decide when you want to activate this project.  Maybe it doesn't make sense to start now because of the answers to those questions. Maybe there are just too many other things going on right now and this new project will throw current projects into chaos.  If you must start now, consider what current activities should be shelved to create the space for this new one.

[Photo: "Pause - השהיה" by Eran Finkle]

2 Comment(s)

So true. I was lucky to have been shown, early in my career, the basics of software project planning (System Requirements Document, System External Spec, Internal design doc) by a coworker. It made so much sense that from that day on I used this outline in every project - even hobby programming - and it saved me a lot of grief.

nixonparker Author Profile Page said:

Projects require planning process. Before start any project, we should make a plan and think about investment on project, resources and other things. Project planning is not easy but will save your time and effort as well.

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This entry was published on March 1, 2013 9:38 AM and has 2 comment(s).

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